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Pakistan recall Hasan Ali for New Zealand Tests, Shaheen still out

Uncapped Kamran Ghulam has been called up to replace Azhar Ali, who retired after Pakistan's last Test

Hasan Ali last played a Test in Sri Lanka in July 2022  •  AFP/Getty Images

Hasan Ali last played a Test in Sri Lanka in July 2022  •  AFP/Getty Images

Pakistan have recalled fast bowler Hasan Ali and picked uncapped middle-order batter Kamran Ghulam for the upcoming two-match Test series against New Zealand at home. Shaheen Shah Afridi continues to miss out as he recovers from a knee injury he picked up in the 2022 T20 World Cup final.
Naseem Shah, who missed the last two Tests against England with a shoulder injury, has also returned to the squad after being declared fit. But Haris Rauf, who had also picked up an injury on debut in the first Test against England and did not play in the next two matches, is still recovering, and has been left out.
Ghulam, 27, had also been picked for the Bangladesh Test series a year ago but didn't get a game then. He has played 44 first-class matches and averages 47.36, having struck 10 centuries and 18 half-centuries for his 3268 runs. He replaces Azhar Ali in the squad after the senior batter's retirement. Ghulam had scored a record 1249 runs for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the 2020-21 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and was part of the victorious side in the same tournament last season. He is in fine form these days as well, having scored 92, 0, 123* and 98* in the one-day format in the Pakistan Cup this month. In the QeA Trophy before that, he scored 597 runs from 14 innings to average 42.64.
Hasan returns to the squad after being dropped for the series against England, which the visitors swept 3-0. His last Test was against Sri Lanka in Galle in July.
Fast bowler Mohammad Ali and bowling allrounder Faheem Ashraf, who were in the squad for the England Tests, have both been excluded for the upcoming series and advised to participate in the ongoing Pakistan Cup, the PCB said in its statement.
The series will start on December 26 in Karachi and then move to Multan for the second game starting January 3. That will be followed by three day-night ODIs back in Karachi from January 10 to 14.
Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (capt), Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Agha Salman, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Kamran Ghulam, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Shan Masood and Zahid Mehmood